Toby Sauceda, the man who stabbed Mountlake Terrace graduate Forest Jackson to death last year, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Judge David Kurtz handed down the sentence Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court. You can read the Herald’s story about the sentencing here. Sauceda could have faced a sentence of life imprisonment.
Sauceda was arrested by Mountlake Terrace police a little before 2 a.m. on March 29 in the parking lot of the Lakeside Apartments on St. Albion Way. Jackson was found dead from multiple stabbing wounds in his second-story apartment at the complex.
Multiple 911 calls came in around 1:45 a.m. from both inside and outside the apartment where the murder took place. One 911 call, according to police reports, came from Sauceda himself as he stood near the apartment complex’s main office. He reportedly told the 911 dispatcher, “He’s dead; he’s gone,” and that he had killed his friend with a knife.
Police officers tried to locate a pulse on Jackson, but were unable to; fire department personnel who arrived soon after pronounced Jackson deceased at the scene.
Those who knew Jackson saw within him a passion for music. His Facebook page displays posts about rock bands and music festivals, and his past includes four years of involvement in the concert and jazz bands at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Mountlake Terrace High School Music Department Director Darin Faul knew Jackson well and said of him, “I had Forest in two classes a day for four years. Forest was totally into music. In addition to sax, he also played guitar, although not in any classes. He was into lots of different styles of music. Forest grew so much while he was here and it was fun to see.”
Jackson was recognized at the 2011 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition for his saxophone solo performances.
“He wrote a note to me after Essentially Ellington that brings me comfort right now,” Faul said. “It said, ‘Placing at EE and getting a soloist award is the greatest experience I could ask for.’ I’m glad he was so happy and proud.”
You can read about Faul’s memories of Jackson here.